Lineup: Sunday In The Country 2023

We're thrilled that Sunday In The Country is BACK for 2023!

Join WPOC and many other Country Music fans on October 8th at Merriweather Post Pavillion.

Our 2023 Lineup has officially been announced! Get ready to see: Dalton Dover, George Birge, Conner Smith, Hailey Whitters, Chayce Beckham, Chase Rice, and JELLY ROLL!

Jelly Roll

Delving deep into the rich Southern origins of various musical genres, Tennessee's Jelly Roll, a rapper, vocalist, and songwriter, navigates themes of addiction, pain, and the pursuit of brighter days. Infusing his creations with Southern rap rhythms and soulful, blues-infused vocal performances, Jelly Roll's musical tapestry weaves together elements of rugged Southern rock, R&B-inflected instrumentals, country-inspired acoustic melodies, and unflinching hardcore rap. His artistic evolution can be heard across albums like "A Beautiful Disaster" in 2020, "Ballads of the Broken" in 2021, and "Whitsitt Chapel" in 2023.

Born as Jason DeFord, Jelly Roll commenced his rap journey around 2005, gradually rising from the underground scene through notable collaborations with Lil Wyte and Haystak. A pivotal moment arrived in 2011 when he joined forces with Wyte and BPZ to form SNO. The group's album "Year Round," produced by DJ Paul and Juicy J, dropped under the Hypnotize Minds label linked to Three 6 Mafia. In 2012, Jelly Roll marked his independent debut with "The Big Sal Story." Notably, his 2013 mixtape "Whiskey, Weed, & Waffle House" attracted legal attention from the restaurant chain, leading to a rebranded version as "Whiskey, Weed, & Women." Jelly Roll's allegiance to the restaurant remained intact, evident in his public declaration. During the same year, his collaboration with Haystak yielded the joint album "Business as Usual."

Subsequent years brought further artistic milestones. 2014 introduced his solo endeavor "Biggest Loser," followed by the EP "Whiskey Sessions." In 2016, Jelly Roll's album "Sobriety Sucks" garnered attention with standout tracks like "Train Tracks" featuring Struggle and "Need Nobody" featuring Alexander King. The album marked his chart debut, entering Top Heatseekers, Independent Albums, and the R&B Albums chart. This momentum carried into releases like "No Filter 2" by the end of 2016 and "Addiction Kills" in April 2017. Collaborating with Struggle once again, he contributed to "Waylon & Willie II & III" in 2018, and the same year witnessed the release of his solo project "Goodnight Nashville." In 2019, Jelly Roll presented a follow-up to "Whiskey Sessions" and the EP "Crosses and Crossroads." His prolific output continued with "A Beautiful Disaster" in March 2020, featuring guest appearances by Krizz Kaliko, Lil Wyte, Struggle Jennings, and more. The album made an impressive entry at number nine on the Billboard Independent Albums chart. Later in the same year, he delivered "Self Medicated."

The year 2021 introduced a unique offering from Jelly Roll in the form of the concise project "Ballads of the Broken." Each track showcased diverse stylistic explorations, ranging from country-tinged hooks to haunting, introspective pop melodies. Alongside eight fully realized tracks, the album featured two demo recordings. This release managed to secure spots on the Billboard 200 and the U.S. Indie Top 30. The momentum persisted into 2023, marked by the unveiling of "Whitsitt Chapel," highlighted by the hit single "Need a Favor."

Chase Rice

Chase Rice stands as a true musical sensation, having achieved a remarkable milestone of 2.4 million albums sold and an astonishing tally of over 2.4 billion total streams. His influence transcends borders, as evidenced by the legion of ardent fans he has garnered across the expanse of our globe.

At the heart of his triumphs lies the critically acclaimed album "I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell." This masterpiece was meticulously crafted within the walls of his rural Tennessee abode, which he ingeniously transformed into a haven of musical creativity. Now widely available, this album not only marks a new chapter in Chase's career but also serves as a mirror reflecting the intricacies of his evolving life experiences.

This musical opus isn't just a collection of tracks; it's a testament to Chase's profound emotional journey. From moments of intense reckoning with his innermost feelings to his genuine admiration for the rugged ethos of the Western way of life, the album resonates with authenticity. The melodies and lyrics intertwine to create a symphony of personal growth and artistic maturation.

As listeners immerse themselves in the resonating rhythms and evocative verses, they can't help but sense the depth of Chase's artistic evolution. "I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell" isn't merely an album; it's a glimpse into the soul of an artist who is unafraid to embrace change and transformation, channeling his experiences into a harmonious blend of sound that reverberates with the very essence of life itself.

Chayce Beckham

Chayce Beckham, the victorious talent of American Idol and hailed as an "Artist to Watch" by esteemed sources like Country Now, Country Swag, Music Mayhem Magazine, and Sounds Like Nashville, is an undeniable powerhouse in the Country music realm. PopCulture asserts that he's poised to make an indelible mark on the genre for years to come. Parade echoes this sentiment by dubbing him one of the most talked-about emerging artists in Country music today.

Beckham's debut EP, titled "Doin' It Right," soared to the top spot on both iTunes' All Genre and Country charts, earning acclaim from notable sources including E! News!, Billboard, People, CMT, PopCulture, Sweety High, and more. What sets him apart is being the first-ever winner of the competition show to triumph with an original song. His self-penned track "23," which draws from his own life experiences, rapidly ascended to the summit of various viral charts. As it continues to climb the ranks on Country radio, "23" has deeply resonated with fans, consistently amassing over 1 million on-demand streams weekly since its 2021 debut, totaling an impressive 238 million streams to date.

Chayce Beckham possesses a trio of talents that make him a standout artist: he's a mesmerizing performer, a powerhouse vocalist, and a skilled songwriter. This summer, he will be sharing the stage with Country superstar Luke Bryan on his 2023 Country On Tour, showcasing his prowess as a live entertainer. Renowned for his voice, which Katy Perry likened to "the heart of America," Beckham's journey from being a forklift operator to clinching the American Idol title and subsequently gracing shows like Good Morning America, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Live with Kelly & Ryan has been nothing short of remarkable. He's also proven his mettle as a prolific songwriter, collaborating with some of Nashville's finest.

Highlighted as one of the ten rising Country artists destined for incredible careers by Country Swag, and labeled as the "Next Big Thing" by Music Row, Beckham has solidified his status as a full-fledged Country star, according to CMT. His latest release, the emotive ballad "Till The Day I Die," dropped on April 28 and further underscores his upward trajectory. PopCulture remains unwavering in its proclamation that Beckham is unequivocally one of the most promising new faces in the realm of country music to keep a keen eye on.

Hailey Whitters

Hailing from Iowa and based in Nashville, this emerging country sensation achieved a significant breakthrough in 2020 when she unveiled her self-funded debut album, THE DREAM. The album garnered widespread acclaim, being hailed as "the most profound country album of the year" by The Washington Post. It made its mark on more than 15 year-end "best of" lists, including securing the top spot on Stereogum's "10 Best Country Albums of 2020" and Garden & Gun's "Best Southern Albums of 2020" rankings.

The subsequent deluxe edition of the album, LIVING THE DREAM, fulfilled the prophecies laid out by THE DREAM. Collaborating with friends and fellow artists like Brent Cobb, Jordan Davis, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Little Big Town, and Trisha Yearwood, she added five new tracks to the release. This effort caught the attention of NPR's Fresh Air, which recognized her as "one of the most captivating voices in the realm of country music."

Throughout 2021, she had an eventful year. Sharing the stage with Luke Combs and Midland during tours, she also secured her place as the inaugural Opry NextStage Artist of the Year. The music video for "Fillin’ My Cup," featuring Little Big Town, earned her a coveted nomination for "Breakthrough Video of the Year" at the CMT Music Awards. Additionally, her songwriting prowess earned her a debut GRAMMY nomination for Song of the Year. The nominated song, "A Beautiful Noise," was a collaborative effort penned by Ruby Amanfu, Brandi Carlile, Brandy Clark, Alicia Keys, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Linda Perry, and Hailey Whitters, and performed by Alicia Keys and Brandi Carlile.

With a cumulative stream count surpassing 75 million, she is set to embark on her inaugural headline Heartland Tour in the upcoming winter months. Anticipation was high for her second album, RAISED, which saw its release on March 18, 2022, through Pigasus Records/Songs & Daughters/Big Loud Records.

Conner Smith

At just 22 years old, Conner Smith has already established himself as a respected figure within Nashville's prestigious songwriting community. He stands out as a highly anticipated newcomer in the world of Country music, possessing a unique blend of youthful passion and a wise, soulful perspective. Conner's journey began at the age of 6 when he penned his first song, and by 16, he had secured a publishing deal. A true prodigy in the Country genre, he wrote five out of six songs on his debut album, "DIDN'T GO TOO FAR," produced by Zach Crowell and released under The Valory Music Co. This collection includes notable tracks like "Learn From It," which became his first Top 40 hit, the viral sensation "I Hate Alabama," and the beloved fan-favorite "Take It Slow," which earned a GOLD certification.

The charisma and artistry showcased in this debut effort garnered Conner Smith the title of 2022 Artist to Watch from prominent platforms such as Spotify, Amazon Music, and Opry NextStage. His accomplishments extended to being the sole Country artist featured on Pandora's Ten List for 2022. As his star continued to rise, he received recognition in 2023 from MusicRow Next Big Thing and CMT Listen Up, solidifying his position as a rising star in the Country music scene.

Conner Smith's growth as both a songwriter and performer has captivated his fans, with CMT dubbing him an "unstoppable force to be reckoned with." His momentum shows no signs of slowing down in 2023, exemplified by his latest single, "Creek Will Rise," a bluegrass-infused, twangy track that is making waves on Country radio. Having recently embarked on a tour alongside renowned artists like Thomas Rhett, Parker McCollum, Ryan Hurd, and Chase Rice, Conner took the spotlight with his inaugural "IF I WENT TO COLLEGE TOUR," which saw multiple sold-out shows.

The excitement surrounding Conner Smith's career continues as he prepares to grace the stage at CMA Fest in Music City, where he is set to perform at the Chevy Riverfront Stage on June 11. Following this, he will hit the road as a supporting act on Luke Bryan's "COUNTRY ON TOUR" starting in July. Additionally, he is slated to join Cole Swindell's "TWELVE TOUR" for select dates in the fall. Conner Smith's journey is a testament to his unwavering dedication and undeniable talent, ensuring his place as a rising star in the world of Country music.

George Birge

George Birge, a talented Texas-born songwriter with Nashville roots, stumbled upon a TikTok star known as Rynnstar, playfully poking fun at country music's repetitive themes. She quipped about the abundance of songs centering around beer, trucks, and girls, and while she had a point, Birge was determined to prove that even seemingly mundane phrases could inspire profound, multi-layered songs.

Fueled by this challenge, Birge picked up his trusty guitar and poured his heart and soul into crafting "Beer Beer, Truck Truck," a lively and infectious tune that transcends the clichéd writing-room tropes. The song, beyond its catchy hooks, delves into themes of longing and love, as Birge croons, "I know the city called you, go baby spread your wings/I'll be here waiting on you, out here in the country."

For Birge, the song carried a message: The country lifestyle might not boast the glitz and glamour of the city, but it's filled with hidden depths and genuine beauty. He was determined to showcase the authenticity and richness of country living through his music, and it paid off.

Produced by the talented Ash Bowers, "Beer Beer, Truck Truck" seamlessly blends contemporary country elements with the traditional sounds that once captivated Birge during his upbringing in Austin. The musical fusion resulted in an irresistibly fascinating sound that captured the hearts of listeners far and wide.

Within a mere two weeks of posting "Beer Beer, Truck Truck" on TikTok, the video had garnered nearly 3 million views, and Birge's followers skyrocketed from fewer than 50 to an impressive 130,000. The song's charm didn't stop there; it managed to win over none other than Rynnstar herself, who shared the song with her massive following and was credited as a co-writer on the track.

The overwhelming response filled Birge with gratification, as he witnessed people from various backgrounds and music preferences become country music fans after connecting with his song's story and heartfelt origins. The power of great songwriting to transcend genres and touch hearts brought Birge a sense of fulfillment, reinforcing that his intention to make meaningful music had struck a chord.

Thanks to the success of "Beer Beer, Truck Truck," Birge caught the attention of Barry Weiss's RECORDS Nashville label, paving the way for him to embark on an exciting journey with the impending release of his debut EP. While the viral sensation introduced him to a broader audience, it's essential to understand that George Birge is no mere TikTok gimmick—he's a seasoned songwriter with years of experience under his belt.

Birge's passion for songwriting ignited during his early days in Austin when he formed a band and performed original compositions at local bars on Sixth Street. Crafting songs, weaving stories, and evoking emotions became a profound source of joy for him. He explained, "I play live music so that I can write songs and get in the studio, because that's where my passion is. I love that rush that you get when you find something that is magical."

Dalton Dover

Praised by MusicRow as a "master country talent," Dalton Dover, a twenty-three-year-old singer, discovered his passion for performing at an early age, starting with singing at church and winning his fifth-grade school talent show with a rendition of Justin Bieber's "Baby." This moment ignited his love for the stage. At 16, he picked up a guitar and taught himself to play, but it was his grandfather who introduced him to country music, influencing his musical tastes with artists like Keith Whitley, Rhett Akins, Joe Diffie, and Steve Wariner. Dalton fell in love with the authenticity and storytelling in country music, leading him to learn to play Whitley's "Don't Close Your Eyes" on the guitar.

As Dalton's talent blossomed, he began performing at local bars and sharing cover songs on TikTok, which caught the attention of producer Matt McV and A&R veteran Jim Catino, the founder of Droptine Recordings. Impressed by his potential, they promptly signed Dalton.

Outside of his music career, Dalton is happily married to his high school sweetheart, Faith, and together they have lived in a small rural Georgia town with a population of 1,200 for their entire lives. They hope to give their two young children, Taylor and Alyiah, the same charming upbringing they experienced in a small town.

Dalton's debut track "You Got a Small Town," produced by McV, received critical acclaim from Billboard, MusicRow, Country Now, and Wide Open Country. The song reflects Dalton's love for the easy pace and familiar surroundings of small-town life. His follow-up song "Baby I Am" also gained recognition and earned notable playlisting, leading to his recognition as a Spotify Hot Country 2022 Artist to Watch. His latest single, "Damn Good Life," is now available for fans to enjoy.

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